Topic stolen... um borrowed from Jennifer. Now my brushes with fame aren't the A-listers Jennifer knows. Hence, my change of the title to Almost Famous.
At first I just commented on her blog Playgroups are no Place for Children, because, DUDE I went to the same college as Emmitt Smith. (And I feel the need share this with everyone I've ever met.) You may know him from a little football team called the Dallas Cowboys. If not surely you remember him from his winning Dancing with the Stars. I spent the entire DWTS season telling my BFFs hubby about how I once had a beer with Emmitt. No not just near him, I totally talked to him! It was during post season and the Cowboys weren't so good that year apparently, and Emmitt was back at school. I asked why he was in Gainesville and he said because he promised his grandma he would get his degree even if he made it in the NFL. Ain't that just the sweetest? Yah, me and Emmitt we are bonded as only Gators can be.
I also once kissed a former Gator football player who played for the LA Rams. Regardless of the fact that I can’t remember his name, as it was one night in a bar, kissing is a step ahead of drinking a beer. Now that I think of it, hell we were practically engaged! And my old insurance agent Mark Murray, played for the Gators, and was drafted into the NFL to play for Denver. I don't know if he wasn't very good or got hurt but he was only Pro for one year. And who knows you better than the man who has access to all your homeowners info and driving record? Oh, and I almost forgot somewhere I have a picture of Gino Torretta, Heisman Trophy winner from Miami. I so slyly took it from across the room and let's just say (for legal reasons) he "looked" stoned. However, I'm pretty sure I could totally keep him from ever running for President. Only your best friends should have that kind of evidence, so that makes us tight, right?
Lest you think my brushes with fame are all football related, I have more. A sorority sister of mine, my class even, Hilary Andrews is (was?) a meteorologist on the Weather Channel. Wayne Brady, the comedian went to high school with another one of my sorority sisters. And Jimmy Buffet lived next door to one sorority sister's dad in the Keys. They are my sisters, so that makes us all practically one big happy family.
I have a friend who kissed Rob Thomas, way back in the day. I could've been in his wedding if that had worked out. I mention this merely for the excuse to post photo of Rob Thomas, cause I think he is HAWT!The Blair Witch Project. (not the actors the writers and directors) He used to play softball with a couple of them and I would cheer from the sidelines and provide ice for injuries. These guys, may only be known by the movie they made, but they do actually know my name, "Brian's wife, the lady with the ice for boo-boos". That's no degrees of separation right there ya'll! In other behind the scenes news another friend of ours worked on the show The Gilmore Girls. Damn I am almost famous!
Most recently my BFF was an extra on Friday Night Lights and she french kissed...um hugged...um got her picture taken with Kyle Chandler, baby! And she's letting me post the picture, because DUDE, KYLE CHANDLER!
She also had her picture taken with the Brad Womack the Bachelor, yawn. The same night she saw Riggins.... um Taylor Kitsch from FNL too. Gratuitous hot guy photo op.
But honestly, the whole reason I had to steal... um borrow this blog topic was so I could show off my single biggest claim to fame, (and not because my IRL friends are totally sick of hearing about it or anything like that) that I totally know this guy. On the left that's him in the little movie, maybe you know of it, Pirates of the Caribbean. Now note his arm around me in the 2nd picture? See? Almost.FAMOUS!
His name is Issac Singleton, you may recognize him from various movies and tv shows where he has played a pirate, a thug, a bouncer etc. And he is totally for reals, my friend. He's even my friend on myspace, so you know it's true! That makes me one degree of separation from a lot of really famous people! Wonder if he has Johnny's number? Or maybe Drew's email so I could send her evite for Celebrity Happy Hour.
How famous are you? Who do you know? Or who has your brother's girlfriend's cousin met? Brag here!
Today marks Breanna's 1/2 life with us. Today she is 9 years old. Half our years with her in our house full time are over. I can't imagine being without her first thing every morning and saying goodnight before bed every night.
Breanna is my rule follower. When she was little it took only my counting to three on my fingers to get her to do what she was told. Now I know anywhere I take her I will be sure to be complimented on what a great guest, patient, or student she was. She has started riding her bike to and from school, I know she will not venture from the path or dawdle and be late. Trustworthy should've been her middle name.
Breanna is my perfectionist. Less than perfect causes frustration. She is harder on herself than we ever are. She brings home Straight As every grading period. I joked when they tested her for gifted, saying she studied a lot and tried really hard, so she couldn't be gifted, because those kids are bored by school and don't really try. Um no, apparently she is off the charts smart and tries really hard. I sure hope that doesn't change.
She has it in her head that she wants to go to MIT and become a Math professor. No, not teacher, a college professor. And where would she want to teach? Mommy's alma mater of course, University of Florida. I won't be shocked if this actually happens. She's one of those kids. She already is a great teacher. Sometimes I over hear her helping Brooke and it makes me so proud. Her teacher told me she often assigns Breanna to help other kids in class.
We call her a tomboy, she likes all things blue and sporty. But she has long gorgeous hair, and asked to get her ears pierced in kindergarten, so no all girly things are wasted on her. She has a tough exterior, bruises and scrapes don't bother her. She already has 2 trips to the ER under her belt. But on the inside she's super sensitive, and teasing words hurt her. Breanna talks a lot, but only to those she knows well. She is horribly shy, but deals with it much better when we are not around to help her.
Breanna is a great big sister. And Brooke idolizes her, covering her with hugs and kisses when she gets home from school with tons of stories to share. I love that Breanna still plays so well with her little sister and doesn't think she's too big for such fun.
I am proud everyday to have such a great kid. Happy Birthday Breanna!
One & Water.
To the dear people who helped create Magical Disney memories for us.
Let's start with you, friendly woman in the parking lot. Wasn't it fun to bond of the fact that years ago we would've all had to actually memorize where we parked? That picture of Pluto 23 painted on the asphalt will always remind me of your laugh.
Happy Disney ticket seller. Thank you so much for taking time to talk with my girls while processing our tickets. And especially for finding out my daughter's birthday was in 3 days and giving her a special birthday button to wear all day. How you managed to make Breanna feel special without overdoing it and making little Brooke jealous I'll never know, but I appreciate it.
All of the, too numerous to count, Disney employees who noticed Breanna's birthday button and wished her a Happy Birthday, quietly so not as to embarrass her, but yet make her feel just a bit extra special, you are also thanked greatly.
Teenage Boys behind us on the tragic adventure that was "the laughing place, the laughing place, the laughing place, the laughing place..." your parents should be so proud! If I had any idea who they were I'd call them and tell them so personally. If you are in Atlanta and your son and two good friends were at Disney with the school band and were stuck on Splash Mountain Saturday, your boys are great! You boys all had nice manners and were friendly to my whole family. Having some fun kids behind us to make jokes with made that extra hour so much more tolerable for all of us. And my love for you has nothing to do with the fact that when you said my answer to your "which of us is cuter" question didn't really count was because I was a married woman, instead of saying an old married woman. Really all three of you were just adorable and personable, putting you leaps and bounds ahead of all the other boys your age. May you all find fun, cute, little girlfriends who appreciate you!
Family on the boat after a long day at Disney with many kids. Weren't you just the nicest? Your 3 year old birthday boy was just the cutest little ham. All of the kids in your party were obviously exhausted yet none of them complained as we all sat on the dirty floor of the boat *GASP* and watched the little ones still going strong. I hope your little man had a wonderful birthday.
And most of all thank you to my wonderful hubby, carrying a 42 lb child on your back, and making extra trips to get food that you then left for us. Grabbing and scaring your kids in the dark, pounding on our car in the haunted mansion. What would we do without you?
Dear Magic Kingdom guests and employees,
Yesterday was a day of magic, hubby and I took our girls for a fun trip to Disney World. I understand (trust me I do) that not everyone thinks Disney is the Happiest Place on Earth *GASP* but if you have decided to make the investment and get a 2nd mortgage on your house in order to visit, maybe you could just play along.
Woman with sullen teen daughter complaining loudly about the very nice food service employee at Ariel's Grotto, who greeted my "little Princess" and sincerely wished my older daughter a Happy Birthday, the one who "ignored" you and went to help the people in line at his own register. Yes, you Ma'am, I am sure you must have been about to go into a diabetic coma with out the immediate relief a frozen Coca-Cola. And surely you are new to the Disney experience because 2 minutes in line for food will be the fastest line of the day for you.
And, you, yes all of you. Dads, moms and grandparents in Ariel's Grotto. I am guessing I must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, surely it was a designated time for kids who can not walk on their own to play in the water and I did not notice the sign. I realize it surely must be a long day for you, what will all that hovering over your precious children who can't even play on a level surface without your help. Too bad those benches right around the perimeter of the play area were not an option for you. See my daughter, who is very independent was having a great time cooling off in the water spouts, which should have given me the much needed rest on a bench in the shade where I could watch her. But instead I had to stand up and walk around, while holding my purse with camera and sunscreen, plus my requisite bucket of pop corn, water bottle and my daughter's shoes, because I could not see around you all standing in the 6 ft expanse of space between the benches and the play area, directly in my line of sight.
Don't think I missed you, parents of the little girls coming out of the Bippity, Boppity, Boo Salon. You, oh you got ripped off. And you are doing no one any favors by over indulging your little brats.... um princesses. Really, $250 for a cheap princess costume, some sparkly makeup and a fancy hair do is excessive to say the least. I promise you that will not keep them from whining while waiting in line for 40 minutes to ride Peter Pan. Not to mention what will these girls have to look forward to in the future? Prom is going to be such a huge let down after this.
Family with the lovely little girl throwing herself over the chain barriers, apparently trying to give her self a concussion, to get your attention, in line for Peter Pan. Where were you going that you thought you wouldn't have to stand in a line at the Magic Kingdom? Really? Because I'd like to go to the secret rides with no lines. Mom, you told someone you'd not moved in line for 30 minutes. Was it really that long? Clearly the heat and standing was too much for you and you bolted. If you had just held on a few minutes more your little girl, who was waiting rather patiently while sitting on the dirty ground *GASP*, would have gotten to fly with Peter Pan. How do I know this? Because within 5 minutes of your bailing we did. Of course your watch that you must have purchased on that island on LOST would have told you we waited another 30 minutes with out moving.
Woman in line with various black and missing teeth. Perhaps a few trips to the dentist instead of a trip to Disney with the family next year? Just sayin...
Last, but definitely not least, not so very helpful employees on Splash Mountain. You KNOW who you are. You make Walt Disney cry, right there under Cinderella's Castle where everyone knows he's really buried. Hey, next time would it kill you to pick up a bit before you invite us back into the depths of your ride? Oh, and maybe cutting the music when the rest of the ride has halted, for some unexplainable reason, would make the guests, especially those of us not so much loving "the laughing place, the laughing place, the laughing place, the laughing place, the laughing place..." a bit less irritable. Also, perhaps an explanation of what exactly it was that "Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit were doing down river" to turn off the ride right before we got to the big waterfall would have been nice. We'd all sincerely like to thank you for the unguided tour of the back of Splash Mountain and for the loss of an hour of our day we will never ever get back. If you think that super duper fast pass was an equitable consolation prize I'd like some of whatever you've been drinking.
So to all of you thank you. Thank you for giving much fodder for my blog.
ps Stay tuned for the next installment of Open Letters, because it wasn't all bad!
There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child. --Frank A. Clark
Labels: Thoughtful Quotes
Or is it?
We are surprising the girls with a day at the House of the Mouse tomorrow. Yes, we live within an hour of Disney World and we hardly ever go there. Okay, I know we can get Florida resident passes, and it is cheaper than if someone on the vacation of a lifetime comes down from the great white north. But even a fraction of 'outrageously expensive' is still too much for us to justifiably fit into our budget.
Now our 9 (in 4 days) year old went to that magical land many times before she turned 3. These days ended when we suddenly had to PAY to get her in. I may or may not have a list of friends who teach their recently turned 3 year old children that they are only "2 in Mickey years". Anyway, we had various friends when Breanna could still get in for free, who had those luxurious annual passes, and they would take her with their family to keep their toddler terror company while waiting in all the lines. Worked out GREAT for us, a free day with no kid, and a wonderful day out for her! Woo Hoo! As all parents of more than one child know, it's very rare to have friends who have 2 kids the same ages whom both of your children get along with. And if they do they surely aren't offering to take both of someone else's children anywhere. See that's why we all brought home that 2nd little bundle of joy, in order to have two to keep each other company. You parents of onlies, ask us how that worked for us, before you consider giving your child "company". So what I'm trying to say here is Brooke has no memory of having ever been terrorized by that man sized mouse and his friends, because we've been only a couple times since she's been with us. And sweet little Brooke, she is an aspiring princess, so we've been feeling guilty not giving her the pleasure of visiting the home of the princesses. I mean they live so close, how could we deny her?
So we checked. And rechecked. Passes, which ones cost the least, how many times would we have to go to make the passes pay off? Well, if you don't want to go during the summer, or Spring Break or Christmas break, or the 4th Friday of the month, or on a full moon, or a new moon, or when anyone else might possibly want to go, and you want to pay for parking every time.. Then for the low, low price of $230 per adult and $203 per child you can buy a Seasonal pass. Do the math here... that's $866 for our family of 4. Once the 9 year old turns 10 we have to pay full price for her! Another reason we thought this would be a good time to go to the Black Hole of Money. The regular at the door any day of the year Florida resident prices are $64 and $54 that's $236 for our family of 4. That's make going 4 times during those non-blackout dates to hit the break-even point. Now there are also MAC DADDY tickets. Let's just state here that we are not friends with any doctors or lawyers and all our friends enjoy eating fresh fruit on a regular basis, so we know NO ONE with these tickets, this is purely for comparisons sake. They include all parking, all parks, any friggin day of the year, as long as you have a valid Florida license. That'll cost ya, $460 per adult (or kid over freakin 10 years) and $404 per kid, or grand total of $1728, taking 8 visits to 'pay off'. I do see that the annual passes are a "good deal" in comparison to paying the gate price, but forking over all that cold hard credit at once makes me a bit queasy.
See here lays the essence of the problem , shhh, we really aren't the Disney type. There I said it! Okay, little Princess in training would probably live there if we let her, and I'm sure there will be tears when we leave tomorrow. But the rest of us, not so squeaky clean. Oh, sure we'll have a great time. But give us really big roller coasters, and BEER for the Love of PETE, people need beer at amusement parks, all that hot sun mixed with whining kids = Need for BEER! Yeah so Busch Gardens, that's our kind of place. And maybe next year when little bit is tall enough for the good rides, we'll start doing the break even analysis of Universal or Busch Gardens passes. Right now though, Brooke NEEDS to experience Disney. All her little friends have been, many have even gone on Disney Cruises. Like I said I think hubby and I are missing some child friendly fun gene, because the idea of a whole cruise o' Disney, makes us shudder.
So here's what we decided. 4 visits in one year to a Disney park, any Disney park is more than enough. Making those seasonal passes not worth it for us. Now there just so happen to be Florida residents tickets they promote during the slow periods (Pete knows what qualifies as slow, less than a million people in line for It's a Small World? Anyway that would apparently be now.) for 4 day resident passes. And there just so happen to be 4 Disney parks right here in O'town. JACKPOT! So for the horribly expensive price of $159 per big person and $134 per little person we can hit each of the Disney parks for one day in the next 6 months, any day we want. Can you tell the whole BLACKOUT dates thing really doesn't sit well with us? By the way I counted they blackout 13 weeks of the year, that's about 3 months, and that includes the entire summer. Yes, I know it's hot in Florida in June. Hello, hot in Florida in December. But children are whiny about nothing to do in the summer, sucks that they can't go to Disney even though you spent a mortgage payment on passes.
Now don't even get me started on how the price of the ticket is nothing compared to what we will spend on a cheeseburger, fries, and no FREAKIN BEER!
Off my soapbox and back to my lighthearted blog today.
I totally stole this from the lovely and creative Kira Joy of Never Full Skeletons, Only Fragments.(see what I mean by creative?) Her idea was a celebrity tea party, but we all know if they don't agree to a drink, the whole thing will never work out between us.
So here's my Celebrity Happy Hour guest list. I'll be sending out the evites soon.
The first invitation goes to Trisha Yearwood because she will be catering as well. Did you see her on theView? This is what made me love her. My favorite quote "sometimes you gotta eat a plate of ribs then the next day eat like a grape."
Really I'd like to invite all the women of the View. I don't necessarily agree with them all, you all know who I'm talking about. But I find their group conversations interesting, and they will guarantee no awkward silences. And the idea of getting Elisabeth Hasslebeck drunk, hilarious!
Next up is Leah Remini. I never watched King of Queens but she is hilarious on In the Motherhood if you have not yet clicked on this link on my sidebar, click here, go now, we'll wait. Okay so today she was on Rachel Ray (whom I don't enjoy and would not invite, too perky). She agreed to let them video her life with her totally spoiled child, and it was like a bad episode of Super Nanny. But she totally redeemed herself as she admited whole heartedly "we suck as parents" I kind of love her for her honesty.
And on In the Motherhood with Leah is my girl crush Jenny McCarthy. She's gorgeous, yet goofy and funny. One of those people you wish you could hate, except she's so damn nice.
Drew Barrymore is one of those women, so clearly happy with herself, just the way she is. She's smart and cute and very down to earth. Have you seen "My Date with Drew"? She's genuinely a nice person despite her celebrity status.
Rosie O'Donnell and of course Kelly are invited. And they can bring all their kiddos to play with my kids, that way us mommies can enjoy the party more. I big pink puffy heart Rosie, she's a strong woman not afraid to speak her mind. And she's a hoot!
Last but not least are Ellen Degeneres and Portia deRossi because I think they are such a cute couple. And Ellen is one funny woman. Oh and Ellen will be in charge of inviting a musical guest for us also.
Of course I'd also invite Drama, and Twinkle's mom and all my other stalkers... um readers.
So who's coming to your imaginary party? Girl crushes? Common' you know you have them!
Anyway, it just really hit me wrong. My hubby and I are trying to teach our girls to be open minded and accepting of others. How can I possibly believe that my daughters will have an equal chance to reach their dreams if we still live in a world so full of prejudice? We have conversations that start out like this a lot in our house, "Some people believe that..."
I don't feel I am a talented enough writer to truly get my point across here. So I'm going to refer to the source.
1 John 4:19-21:
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.And I know there are many interpretations this verse.
But the very literal interpretation that I am going with here, is let GOD judge, he is the only one who can. In short, live and let live, God will sort it all out when the time comes.
And again with the idea that I am totally inept to write about such a subject I leave you with some quotes from one of the most eloquent writers I have read.
It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation.
This week's works were 5 & Wind.
Last week I stumbled on Cafe at the End of the Universe and was reading about her venturing out to watch a movie filming in her town. I had to comment and check back because I had to know whether or not she got a glimpse of the great Mr. Depp.
Because I am totally one of those geeky people who will go check out celebrities if they are scheduled to be anywhere close. For example "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" did a show about 30 mins from here. Me and my little sidekick (man that poor child gets dragged everywhere) were there 2 different days in the heat with camera in hand hoping to see TY! He's HOT! He was far away, but I saw him, and Ed, ooh that little hottie was this-close!
Back when Rosie had her own show I tried every year to get tickets when she came to Orlando. It's a lottery and apparently lots o' people around these parts wanted to see her. Anyway, I did finally get tickets, and it was oh so fun to see her (way up there) in person, even though we were there on the day she had boring guests. I've also tried for Ellen tickets the past couple of years, with no luck. Damn all the tv show groupies around here!
Another of mine and my hubby's cult favorites it Bruce Campbell. Yes, of Evil Dead fame. My hubby says that after finding out my crazy love for all things Ash he knew I was the woman for him! Anyway, he was here for a book signing a few years back and I desperately wanted to go, but the combo of small child and long line of boredom kept me from going, now I wish I'd toughed it out. Maybe he'll be back some day.
Cutie Patootie Ryan Sheckler was here a few months back competing in the Dew Tour. I tried to convince my hubby that Breanna would love to go see the skateboarding competition. But since I've gotten hooked on his show on MTV it was just as much about me wanting to see him. He was right down the road for Pete's sake! Hubby didn't fall for it, but afterwards Breanna did say she would've liked to have gone. Next year, baby!
If he was rumored to be in the area the ONE person I would knock down my hubby and kids for on my way out the door is Matthew McConaughey...doing ANYTHING! And I would pay any amount of money. Why? JUST LOOK AT HIM!
On a similar yet not really note: A couple of months back I remember reading I Got 2 Babe about how she would watch Javier Bardem do his taxes and I remembered when I went to see the Bacon Brothers in concert. Yes Kevin Bacon and his brother have a band and tour. If you ever get the chance (especially if you are of the Footloose era) you should see them. They are fun, charming and entertaining, well worth the price of admission. Back to my story, as I was telling co-workers about having tickets to see the Bacon Brothers when someone asked if they were any good. Hell I didn't care, this was KEVIN BACON, I would listen to that man read the phone book! Seriously.
Pretty much a mish mash of hot boys in this post, which is not a bad thing, although no real point here to get people commenting. Hmmmm, who would you watch read the tax codes?
Just in case those of you I stalk... um read daily are getting significantly less page loads than last week, do not blame it on your stalker... um stat counter. I have officially signed onto Google reader. Of course I still click over to your blogs because I like to read in their original form, but I don't have to load your pages 2, 3, um a dozen times a day to look for updates.
That is all for now.
"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans are suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you." Rita Mae Brown
Labels: Thoughtful Quotes
Back in the day I used to go to concerts and buy cds and listen to music, a lot. At some point, um ... in the last 9 years my time to enjoy music got lost. I think if I search closely between my television and Radio Disney I might find something other than Hannah Montana.
Recently? Um....we went to see THE Concert (Drake Bell, Corbin Bleu, Aly &AJ). Actually it was pretty damn good. And taking my kids to their first concert was so much fun! Corbin is still obviously very under the Disney umbrella, Aly & AJ are starting to get their own sound finally, and Drake sounds like he was born in the wrong decade, the boy should've been a Beatle. I took the girls because I really like Drake's music. (this would also be why we didn't see Hannah Montana, I could not handle an entire concert of her! AAHHHHH!) Plus, Drake, he's adorable! So what if he happens to be a teeny bopper heart throb? He's old enough to leagally drink a beer with, so it's all good. Oh and Corbin, he IS too young, but he can dance! Whew, he was fun to watch.
But there is not much music I don't enjoy and when dinosaurs roamed the earth and concert tickets cost less than my car payment I saw a huge variety of groups from the hair bands like Def Leppard, to James Taylor. From MC Hammer, to Gainesville local start ups Sister Hazel and Aleka's Attic. I've even seen all the Eagles, just not together. Anyway, you get the idea.
My best concert experience by far was Jimmy Buffett, front row center! That was back when one slept outside on cement for tickets, no damn lottery system, just huge payoff of great tickets for the effort. And Parrot Heads, we know how to have a good time!
Of course the concert to top all others would have to be U2. Because Bono, well, he is just one step below God in my book.
Pardon me a moment while I rub it in one more time to Drama. I've seen them 3 times! Na, Na, Na, Na, Na!
Now they ARE on my ipod. And I'm kicking myself wishing I'd let my hubby buy me the incredibly expensive U2 special edition iPod when it was out.
Back to the subject. What was it again? Oh yeah, what first got me thinking about the lack of music around here is watching American Idol with my daughter. When it also hit me, it's time to start letting her listen to something other than Radio Disney. Not that there's anything wrong with the teeny-bop music. But Breanna hasn't really been much of a music lover. So maybe the pop scene just isn't her thing. Because I was intrigued by her reaction to the music the contestants were singing. She really liked these songs she'd really never heard before. Hmm, who knew?
Back a few months ago we were watching (okay channel surfing) the Grammys. When seeing a tribute to the Beatles I was perplexed to come up with a band equal to the Beatles or the Stones. This posed the question to family and friends of our generation who are the great bands of our time? Ones who today could still fill a stadium? My only thought at first was U2. Since then I've added the Police and I hear Bon Jovi is still selling out.
So I've been thinking, where is this varied musical taste NOW? Especially in my new car with cd player. Seems I am always driving during the commercial hour of radio, can't find a song to save myself.
Who's on your iPod? Any new music you like? Who's concert is worth the price of admission these days? I need to listen to something new and broaden my horizons.
When my hubby runs across something he wants me to read he grabs my laptop when I'm not fused to it at the wrist... um using it, and opens tabs in my browser for me. This weekend I found myself reading this blog Free Range Kids. My hubby has a 45 min. drive to work everyday and has developed a hard core NPR addiction. Being that I have a two hour a day reality tv show habit I find myself wondering if the (very sexy ) Dr. Drew would give us a buy one get one free stay at rehab. The point? I believe that NPR is where he heard the story originally. The cliff notes version of the Free Range Kid's site is that many parents are feeling like we are raising a generation of over-protected kids and that if they are never given the chance to do anything on their own how will they learn to make their own choices? I admit I can be one of those parents obsessively stalking, um watching her kids. But, in theory I agree with Lenore Skenazy who has the blog and writes for the New York Sun. The story my husband heard was about how she let her 9 year old ride the subway home from Bloomingdales, ALONE, without GASP a cell phone. Of course this has sparked heated arguments from both sides. As I said before in THEORY I agree with the Free Range Kids idea, you know the whole 'our generation survived riding our bikes, in the street, with no helmets to play in a vacant lot with matches and lived to tell the tale' aspect of it. However, I also like to think I am not so naive as to believe that with the changes in the world since we were kids that our parenting styles shouldn't adapt also. An urban evolution so to speak.
My girls are 9 (in less than 2 weeks) and 5, and I guess this spring time air combined with their birthdays and realization that they are no longer babies has had me thinking I've got to start learning to let go lately. So even before being introduced to Free Range Kids I had been making an effort to let my kids exercise the brains God gave them for the love of Pete ... um better judgment. If you happen to live near me you may actually see my kid's playing out front, with no adults, THE HORROR! Okay, I am sitting in the living room and peaking out at them periodically. Baby steps!
With all this swimming in my head this week I made a huge decision yesterday. Ran it by my neighbor/mom of my daughter's best friend/of the same mind thinking friend.
AND... this morning our soon to be (dear gracious this month) 9 year olds rode their bikes to school 1.25 miles all by themselves! They were so excited!
It sure isn't the New York subway. Baby steps , people! BABY STEPS!
Anyone remember that show? Where they would bring people on and then have them guess the voice of the person from their past? That's all I remember about it, I don't know what the actual purpose was other than to surprise the person with old friends.
Not too long ago Tessie who is Messing with Texas was writing about googling ex's and I remember thinking that I don't have many to google. Now that doesn't stop me from trying, or from googling everyone I've EVER met. But, I only had one boy, other than Brian, that I ever even entertained (okay so maybe in my earlyish college years I was pretty damned sure) the idea of marrying. Sure I dated lots of boys and kissed even more. In fact, I have one friend who may or may not have used this as her first question when I would excitedly call her to guess who I ran into, "Did you kiss him or not?" too narrow down the playing field. I'll leave it to you to decide which segment of the male Gator population was smaller, those I did or did not kiss.
Believe it or not this tangent ties into another that actually relates to the topic. The person who penned the above first question, of our very special version of "20 Questions-Guess Who", has a younger brother. And last night hubby was channel surfing and paused on Jeopardy. I don't recall that we have ever in 14 years together watched Jeopardy. But for some reason he stopped and there on the screen they were introducing the contestants and my college roommate's little brother was on my TV! Sadly she and I aren't as close these days, but I instantly shot her an email saying I saw her brother on TV. And my little one was excitedly pointing to an old photo on our wall and yelling, "He's on our TV!" Just obscure as the guests on This is Your Life.
Anyway, today I googled myself, shut up EVERYONE does it, because I wanted to see how easy I am to find. Everyone knows women are much harder to track down than men because of that pesky name change. Well, I saw all the reunion sites I am registered on, seeing as my 20th Reunion is this summer, it kinda moves me up in google visibility. I also found a search for me under my maiden name brings up this blog, but my married name does not. I think because my married name is much more common, lots of Karen's come up on my search.
Then of course being such a good procrastinator (see previous post) I remembered Tessie's ex googling and thought what the hell. Now in the past I have stalked, um tracked him from Miami, to Minnesota (when I thought Thank Pete I didn't marry him cause it's COLD there!) to Dallas. Other than knowing he was a pretty big wig at Blockbuster Corporate I didn't find out much more. Today I found he has moved on up to the East Side (of the country) and is in VA and pretty high up at Circuit City. Okay, so he's done pretty good for himself. That same old college roommate worked with him in Miami so I knew he got married to a woman who also worked for the same company way back when. Thanks to the links I got through google I found out he is still married to her and she has an even higher ranking at Circuit City than he does. Hmm, who knew? I pegged them for divorce. Now before you say I'm horrible, I say that because he was one messed up guy when it came to relationships. His parents fought the whole time he was growing up, but didn't divorce until he was in high school because they wanted to "stay together for the kids" so his perception of marriage was justifiably skewed. The fact that when said old roommate told him I was getting married (long before he did) the first words out of his mouth were "why is she pregnant?" as if that would a) be the only way I would ever have moved on from loving him and b) the only reason someone would want to get married, has nothing to do with my premonition of his marriage ending prematurely. Keep in mind we were 24 and 2 years out of college, not exactly shot-gun wedding material. Plus, seeing as he was my first and I managed to not get pregnant any of the times we were dating (oh yes it was a long and drawn out relationship) or on the random occasions we may or may not have hooked up, one could assume I had that little issue covered. So here's where it gets surreal. I clicked a phone listing link and up came a handy map, which Ah HELL, of course I clicked on and there was a link for a street view of that address! OMG! I could see the street he lives on, his driveway and by the looks of it, his neighbor's house. FREAKY! Oh yeah, he has done very well career wise. That's the MOST information I've ever gotten with a random google search. Maybe I should re-title this Google = Stalker 101.
Anyway, I have another boy I kissed a lot in college, from NY who shares his name with a very prominent MD so that search ends up a dud every time. He was a friend I would actually like to find (as in I could introduce him to my hubby and not feel awkward). I think (common name strikes again) my only serious high school boyfriend is a cop in KY. Not much of a shock there. I think he wanted to go to law school, but I'm doubting the undergrad grades if you know what I mean. He was a football player, a year older than me, drove a sports car and was probably the best first boyfriend a girl could ask for. And NO he doesn't read this blog. HELL I don't think he does. I do know my perfect first college boyfriend (noting a trend here?) is a partner in a law firm in south Florida. I hunted him down through the alumni association 9 years ago. I was trying to find him to see if he was single because my friend at work was looking for a nice Jewish boy. Turns out he wasn't so nice anymore, and I didn't find out until half an hour into the conversation that he was married with kids. The hell? I told him right off I was married and pregnant and he was talking all about how we should meet up on one of his many trips to my city.
Okay, I have Bunko tonight and I have to go pick up pizza so I'm leaving you with this. My trend of picking out perfect 1st boys was completed when I picked the perfect 1st and only husband! And trust me this is MY life and I wouldn't trade for any of the other could've beens.
The procrastinator would be me... I know SHOCKING!
First I was on someone's blog, too feeble minded to remember who's and too lazy to go look. And I quickly became hooked on this.
Then of course there's the LOL cats whenever I need a laugh.
see more crazy cat pics
see more crazy cat pics
see more crazy cat pics
see more crazy cat pics
Now I know it may seem this is only good for wasting time, but in my house LOL Cats = mommy daughter bonding time. And these were our picks for funniest tonight. So the family who laughs together um, pees their pants together? I don't know where I was going with that.
Then Jenn at Juggling Life commented on my great theme songs entry this weekend and jogged my memory of so many songs I didn't include. So while she was apparently accomplishing things this weekend I was searching youtube for more videos. Yep, I can rationalize and blame with the best of them, which makes me a top notch procrastinator!
Here's Jenn's entry: Party of Five "Closer to Free" by the BoDeans
Which then reminded me of: Friends "I'll Be There for You" by the Rembrandts
And filed under my all time favorite shows with the perfect theme song are the following:
Gilmore Girls "Where you Lead" by Toni Stern and Carole King.
Veronica Mars " We Used to be Friends" Dandy Warhols
Last but not least winning greatest use of music in a promo:
Promo for Supernatural "Hunted" Johnny Cash
Go ahead admit it, you are impressed that I find the time to copy and paste all this crap... um, useful information in my blog for your entertainment aren't you?
Close-up and Background.
More vacation photos? Oh yeah! You know you love it!
The amazing view of the sunset in the background at the Oasis.
I tried very hard to get a close-up of the otters at the zoo.
They are quick little buggers, and the tank reflection didn't help.
Although these weren't specifically taken for this week's words they were too cute not to share.
So I am awakened at 5:00am by my almost 9 year old in my bathroom crying, "I feel like I'm going to throw up", shortly followed by her throwing up in our toilet. Poor kid. After she says she's finished I relocated her to the family room couch with a bucket. It's a sectional, and did I mention it was 5:00am, so I took up residence on the opposite end of the couch. She proceeded to make it to the bathroom two more times that morning, with her little reporter tagging along. Brooke came back to me each time to give details on smell and consistency, wasn't that thoughtful of her? 3 times is a record for Breanna, she's a once then finished puker. We just don't do stomach flu in our house, sore throats, sinus headaches, and coughs (or dear the lingering for months, bottles of Delsym, will not go away coughs) those are our most common ailments. So I knew we were in for a day of popsicles and tv, which frankly being in this funk, sounded great to me.
But you moms know the problem with this, kid tv. The thought of a full day of Zach and Cody reruns was more than my stomach could handle. Then I found it, JACKPOT a full weekend marathon of "Deadliest Catch". Hubby and I both love that show, and turns out so do my kids. Yep, we spent the better part of Saturday as a family laying around the living room watching the crab fisherman and listening to Mike Rowe's soothing voice. We all love "Dirty Jobs" too, and Mike Rowe is HOT! (whether or not he is gay as my husband thinks)
Anyway this finally brings me to the actual point of this post, while watching episode after episode I found myself singing "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi , all afternoon.
Being a teen of the 80's I love me some Bon Jovi. And those people at Discovery picked the perfect song for their theme song.
This started a discussion between hubby and I on best use of existing songs. When we tifaux CSI (the original) I won't let him fast forward through the theme song, I LOVE it!
So obvious it was GENIUS, to use "Who Are You" by the Who for a a crime investigation show.
My other favorite is the theme for the critically acclaimed not so much watched "Freaks and Geeks" (yes I own it on dvd) "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett.
And the newest in my obsession of great use of song is the movie "IronMan". Not that it took a brain surgeon to think of using it. But just watching the promos with "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath makes me want to see the movie. And really I'm not a big Super Hero movie fan.
Plus who am I kidding, that teen of the 80s thing is impossible to shake, so I LOVE me some Robert Downey Jr.! And this line kills me every time "Let's face it this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing."
Now I want to know what are your favorite theme songs. And what songs were the perfect choice in a movie and made you cry.
Damned, teen of the 80s strikes again.
Due to the FUNK that seems to be spreading like a fungus among us. I've been reading about it all over the blogosphere. Apparently Michelle, Sharpie, and Star all have a case of it too. At first I was attributing my bad mood to our long trip home and the subsequent visit by the lovely aunt Flow, who never knows when she's overstayed her welcome.
Yesterday I thought, I've got to kick this somehow. So I got up put on real clothes, as opposed to the fake ones (Hey, never been to yoga pants, I'm looking at you!) I often ... um, almost always throw on the days I have nothing more on my calendar than to take the girls to school. I even took the time to straighten my hair. A friend at Brooke's school commented I must have had someplace to go. Um no, just trying to shake the funk. And guess what, she said she'd been feeling the funk too! Is there something in the water? Is no one safe from the FUNK?
So this week I have gotten NOTHING done, unless you count my blogging activities. Well, I do count getting my vacation photos into online scrapbooks as accomplishing something. So I did get ONE thing done, but I wore my fake yoga pants and had frizzy hair when I did it.
Just getting up and looking presentable is a start. But I'm not sure what the next step is. Because the FUNK he is now following me like a big Eeyore raincloud.
Any advice, jokes, links to funny sites are welcome!
Seriously, we were in the great state of Texas for one week, Saturday to Saturday, and NEVER were we hungry. But we continued to eat, drink and be merry until we got here:
At some point I may try to retell in all it's glory our run ins with the state of Louisiana, but that's a whole 'nother post. So after declaring we'd never eat or stop or drive through the state that shouldn't be spoken of again, we decided we'd eat after we got out of Houston. Then somehow we were almost to Austin and starving. Well, let me tell you, the great state of Texas does not allow anyone to be hungry EVER. So in this little town Elgin, 30mins. east of Austin we stopped for BBQ . Texans know how to BBQ YA'LL! And thus began the vacation of overeating.
Austin was our first destination on the way in and the last place we stayed with our family BFFs before heading home. This of course meant not only much food, but also mucho drinking. On Sunday we visited my cousin's church and afterwards Jesus wanted us to have margaritas and mexican food. Mmmm, margaritas and mexican, in a little local dive restaurant, there is nothing much yummier than that. During our 2nd stop at their house we went out for Double Dave's Pizza. And of course pizza buffet, with pizza rolls to die for, requires a pitcher of cold beer. Mmm, pizza and beer, close 2nd to margaritas and mexican. That night, when, did I mention we still weren't hungry after the buffet? We went here:
While eating our way through Texas we also stayed in Waco for a few days with my parents. Where we had more local hole in the wall delicious Mexican food. And then my mom bought a precooked brisket from the local HEB grocery store. I know, it doesn't sound that exciting. But have ya'll ever had bbq brisket? It's a cheap cut of meat that is practically non-existent here in Florida. Seriously this brisket from the grocery store was as good as any local restaurant. It was so good we had it for two meals, by choice, even though we weren't even hungry. At my parent's house love=food, so we were up having biscuits and bacon and sausage and eggs every morning, while discussing where we'd like to eat lunch. On our way home from lunch my mom was busy planning dinner and dessert (for the grandbabies of course). Lather, rinse, repeat for 3 days!
Our last stop on our way out of Texas was the great city of Beaumont where we stopped for lunch before entering the abyss of horrible service and food in the state that shall not be named. Both my parents and our friends had talked of taking us to Cheddars, yet we couldn't possibly shove any more food into our bodies while with either of them. And then there it was right off the highway calling to us, "Eat Here, NO ONE may Leave Texas Hungry, EAT HERE!" So we decided to take ourselves there. Do you people have this chain near you? Do you love it? Are you 500lbs? Because seriously the BEST chain restaurant (remember my love of all things Darden) I've ever eaten in. And the kicker BEST SERVICE we had the ENTIRE trip! As soon as we got back on the road I snagged hubby's iphone to see if there are Cheddars here in Florida. "The phone knows" became our mantra on the trip, I can not wait until the new ones come out this summer so I can have his as my very own. The trickle down effect is a lovely thing! Talk about a bright and shiny object, oh how I covet my husband's iphone! The all knowing iphone told me, nope not a Cheddars in our area. Only 3 in the entire state. As much as I'd love to have one close, I do believe my ass would quickly be to big too fit into my little car, as I'd be eating there all the time, so it's probably just as well.
Needless to say hubby and I are now dieting. Which hasn't been hard, seeing as we still aren't hungry! And the girls are going through grandma's candy withdrawls. We are hoping they recover by the end of the week.
Tune in tomorrow for Spring Break Part Tres - Me "Bringing Fun to the Trompler Family since 1972"!
Apparently my infinite wisdom in college went unrecognized, even by myself. Many of my friends, hell probably all of them at some point, went to Mardi Gras and came home with beads, lots of freakin' beads. I always came up with some lame excuse about lack of funds or my parents not letting me go, to avoid the trip. But really I was IN COLLEGE, I did lots of things I couldn't afford and my parents surely would NOT have approved of, um... daily! I just never understood the need to drive all that time, stay in a rundown hotel room, drink in excess then fight the crowds only to not find a bathroom, and show my girls all for the sake of getting damned cheap plastic beads. Really, it was mostly about the crowds and the lack of adequate facilities. Because the drunken debauchery was nothing that couldn't be witnessed any night of the week in Gator Country! Not by me personally, of course.
But, I digress. What's new, right? Anyway, although Mardi Gras was not my calling, a lifetime of passing up New Orleans on our road trips to Texas made me wonder what I was missing out on. That combined with all the news of Katrina, the destruction and rebuilding of the city, in the media made me want to see it for myself. And HELL it's on the freakin way, why NOT? So hubby and I made a plan, reserved a lovely hotel room, close to the river, in a "family friendly" area of New Orleans and set out for our Spring Break adventure.
Disclaimer: I know New Orleans has a lot of history and is a favorite place for multitudes of people. I understand that there is a beauty to the city and I took more photos there than anywhere else we visited.
That said. I DO NOT like New Orleans. Been there, done that, mark it off on the list of places I've been, and move on. And in the words of my hubby, I'm sure New Orleans doesn't like me either. I am so suburbia it's painful! Give me Target, Darden restaurants, and theme parks with piped in music and I am a happy woman.
So here are the reasons Karen will not be visiting New Orleans again (there may or may not be another post later in the week detailing why I would avoid the entire state of Louisiana if possible for the rest of my life).
1. New Orleans is HOT and HUMID!
a.Yes, I am a native Floridian, I know of what I speak, however, I found it hard to breathe in New Orleans.
b. I happen to be one of those people blessed or cursed, you make the call, with naturally wavy hair. The advent of the flat iron has been a prayer come true for me. You see where this is going right? I spent valuable morning time trying to do my hair, finally I gave up, because even INSIDE in the a/c the humidity was too much for the frizzies to resist. Then I stepped outside... well hell, so much for the hair.
2. The streets are NASTY!
a. You say panhandler, I say BEGGING. I do not enjoy it.
b. Hot climates call for cool clothes and SHOES! Being a Florida girl, I love flip flops, wear them everywhere all the time. Thus I did not enjoy the dirty, stinky, wet sidewalks.
c. And uneven broken concrete is apparently a sidewalk. Literally only means walk beside the street. Again, you see where this is going? Me in flip flops, two kids, dirty streets, rushing past the panhandlers. Oh, have I forgotten to mention my utter lack of grace? Yep, I fell, my knee is still purple and hurts like HELL every time I kneel down.
3. BREAKFAST the meal you eat in the morning? Ever heard of it? Apparently there is only one place to get a decent breakfast in New Orleans, and the line to get in is around the block. Um, that was so not working for us with 2 whiny kids. They didn't enjoy New Orleans either. Which brings me to my final point.
4. FAMILY FRIENDLY MY ASS! Seriously, New Orleans, you've found your niche, cornered the market on drunken partying college students. Stick with what you know! Quit trying to drag in more tourists by saying anything about families or children, EVER!
And in the sense of fairness, it's not just you New Orleans. On the opposite side of the coin we visited my sister who has acres of beautiful land, a huge pool made with rock that looks like a pond, and a big house out in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, find nowhere on your yahoo map and turn left! She and her husband find this to be Nirvana. Me? Couldn't PAY me enough money to live out there. When we bought our house 5 years ago my requirements included a grocery store in walking distance of the house. Have I EVER walked there? NO! My hubby and kids do frequently, I do not join them. But if I HAD to I could. That is my #1 in location, location, location.
Check back tomorrow for "Spring Break edition part Dos (that's Spanish for 2) -How we ate our way through Texas".
4 - number of times the word HELL is used in this post, hmmm...
How lazy ... um, creative am I for finding photos from my vacation that fit the words?!
So many buildings are in rough shape in New Orleans.
Again, if you are interested in learning more about the WWC, visit Tink our fearless leader.
Our road trip to Texas was fairly quiet, everyone listening to their own personal music, the girls watching movies, and me reading. But we also made a point to look out the windows and appreciate the many things we don't see everyday.
We found beautiful things in the most common of places. These are three of our favorites...
At a gas station we saw a pink & yellow fuzzy moth - Dryocampa rubicunda
All along the roadside in north Florida we saw the Dogwood trees blooming.
And of course on the roadside in Texas were huge patches of Bluebonnets in full bloom.
On the way home my youngest was struck with a bad case of homesickness. Trying to sleep in the car, as we pushed it to do the 20 hour trip straight through, finally broke her spirit and she was crying for all our pets and her own bed. Frankly by the time we got home at 4:30am I was about in tears for my own bed too. Today I have been appreciating the beauty in my own home. The simple things I love and take for granted everyday. First my pets who love unconditionally, I didn't realize how much I missed them until I saw their sweet little faces this morning. My bed, it is exactly the right size for hubby and I, the sheets are soft, and the comforter is the perfect weight. And my shower, where everything is in the right place, no discovering I forgot something in the bag in the other room, oh how I missed my own shower. Although the pet cages are currently smelling up the zoo ... um, family room (guess what I'll be doing tomorrow), the living room smells heavenly today. My favorite scent is clean linen, (no flowery or food smelling candles in my house) and I hadn't realized until today how strongly our house smells of it. Even our clothes smell like clean linen. Those of us who get hand me downs from the friends we visited in Texas always joke we know exactly which clothes they gave us because they have the "Stratemann Scent". Then once Drama mentioned her hubby could also pick out all the clothes we passed down to her daughter by how they smell. We never realized we had a "family scent" until then. Early this morning as we were putting on pjs and snuggling into bed hubby and I were laughing about loving the smell of our own laundry. Strange the things I missed while away.
What didn't I miss? The MESS this house always seems to be in. Granted I didn't do a lot of cleaning before we left, but tonight the house is a disaster. I have a feeling it's going to be a long week. More Griswold family vacation blogs to follow.
I know these are late, but for those of you new here, I've been on vacation. So much to show and tell, but that will have to wait.
Last week's words were Shiny & Era.
My shiny new car.
Shiny reflection at the zoo in Waco, TX.
Pictures from New Orleans ...
Remnants of a different era.
Expect more vacation photos for this week's words Rough and Smooth. I love these 2 for one photos!
To learn more about the Weekly Word Challenge visit the fearless Tink.
The road trip to Texas was LONG, but fairly uneventful.
The night in New Orleans... well I'll just say we aren't going back that way, and I now understand why we never went that way when I was a kid. In fact we are trying to find a way back where we can avoid Louisiana all together. HA! Short of that we are going to eat in Texas and drive like a bat out of hell through Louisiana and spend the night in Mississippi or Alabama. More on how Louisiana doesn't like us either after we get home.
I've barely had time to read email and check up on my critters at home, much less blog since we got here. Which means we having a great time in Texas. In fact my littlest said she is going to write God a letter and ask him if we can move to Texas. How sweet is that? She sure loves having her best buddy, aunt with a pool, and grandparents to spoil her rotten all right here within an hour and a half of each other.
So all you internets out there I haven't forgotten you, I'll be back after vacation.
Cross your fingers our trip home is as easy as the trip here was.